Steamboat volleyball gets even with Eagle Valley
GYPSUM — Home court appears to mean nothing to Eagle Valley and Steamboat Springs volleyball when meeting each other.
After the Devils won, 3-1, up in Steamboat Springs on Sept. 24, the Sailors returned the favor Thursday night in Gypsum, defeating the Devils in five, 27-25, 24-26, 25-21, 20-25, 15-12.
With the win, the Sailors (16-3, 9-2 4A Slope) move into a tie with Battle Mountain atop the crowded standings, while the Devils remain in the hunt with a 8-3 league record.
BLOCKING UP FRONT
The Sailors made some adjustments after the first meeting with the Devils. With Eagle Valley bringing big hitters to the net, including Carlee Morrison, Becy Glutova and Kylie Martin, Steamboat keyed in on defense at the net.
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“It’s not easy to shut down hitters like that,” Sailors coach Wendy Hall said of the Devils. “Those girls are really versatile hitters. They can change it up, and they can go different directions.”
Steamboat’s Maritza Wiedel came up with one of the biggest blocks of the night in the fifth set, rejecting a thunderous slam by Eagle Valley’s Morrison.
“It’s intimidating because I’m one of the shorter players on the team, and I don’t get too many blocks,” Wiedel said. “But we’ve been working on blocking in practice, and it was just awesome to get that block. It’s a big energy booster for the team, too.”
After a competitive back and forth match, the Devils missed a few opportunities to close out the fifth with a win. The final play ended with the Devils tipping it onto the net and then out of bounds.
“We had too many unforced errors,” Devils coach Lindsey Myers said. “We made too many mistakes on our side. They played tough. They are a scrappy team. They’re a tough team. We knew that going into it.”
The Devils will celebrate their six seniors in Gypsum on Saturday before an important 4A Slope matchup with Battle Mountain (13-6 overall, 9-2 4A Slope). Battle Mountain ends the season on the road at Rifle on Tuesday and then Glenwood Springs on Thursday.
“That’s a big one against Battle Mountain,” Myers said. “We lost to them before, so we need to prove to them that we can come out and compete.”
The Sailors are next at Rifle on Saturday before celebrating their seniors on Tuesday at home against Summit. Steamboat Springs ends the season with a match against Battle Mountain with large implications for the 4A Slope.
“You can’t look ahead,” Hall said. “You can’t look past anybody in this league.”
Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2922, firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Instagram at Colorado_Livin_On_The_Hill.